Robert Gautney

Saturday, Aug 31 2013 12:02 AM

Robert Gautney: McPherson rallies to win Taft City Amateur

By Robert Gautney

Just as advertised, the Taft City Amateur golf tournament produced some low scores during the 36-hole event at Mifflin-Buena Vista in Taft this past weekend.

No records were broken, or even tied for that matter, but still there were four rounds in the 60s and 10 total rounds under par on the hilly BV golf course.

Blake McPherson had one of those rounds in the 60s, a final round 6-under-par 66 that enabled him to come from a two stroke opening round deficit to win the championship. McPherson shot an opening 2-under-par 70 and coupled with his final round masterpiece, finished at 8-under-par  136.

That gave McPherson a two stroke win over first round co-leader Ron Killmer. Killmer had shot a 4-under –par 68 (along with Mark Paveltich) in the first round, but his 2-under-par 70 in the final round left him at 6-under-par 136.

Pavletich struggled in the final round with a 4-over-par 76 and finished fifth. In between him and Killmer were pre-tournament favorite Manav Shah who shot rounds of 73-67 to finish at 140 and Nick Mears who carved out rounds of 70 and 71 for a 141 total.

Rounding out the top 10 were Brett Kettler and Beau Van Sickel at 1-over 145, ageless wonder Dan Hogan at 147, Mark Charmley at 148 and three players – Tyler Burns, Dylan Lym and Scott Anderson, at 149 who all tied for 10th.

So, what did the Taft City Amateur do to the Michelob Ultra/Sports Authority Player of the Year point standings? It produced a new leader.

Shah earned 16 points for this third place finish and now has 46 points. Next is Killmer who has 42 and McPherson moved into the third slot with 36.

Tony Denesha, who was the leader going into the Taft tournament, has now dropped to fourth with 32 while Neil Bautista, who did not play, is fourth with 28 points.

Rounding out the top 10 are Jack Mulroy (27), Hogan (26), Jeremy Choi and Nick Mears (24) and Nick Vallejo with 21.

Up next will be the RiverLakes Amateur Championship at the Links at RiverLakes Ranch on September 28-29. Entries are now being accepted for that event by calling 587-5465 or in person in the pro shop.

Patel back on the course

Local professional Bhavik Patel is back to playing on the Web.com Tour and just in time as the tour starts its 4-tournament playoffs to determine the final 25 guys who will PGA Tour playing cards for 2014.

The Hotel Fitness Championship is this week’s tour event in Fort Wayne, Ind., and Patel shot an opening round 1-under 71 after not playing for the past four weeks due to injury. The tournament will culminate this Sunday. Patel’s results for Friday were not known at the time of the writing.

The players that finished 26th through 100th on the Web.com Tour money list and the players that finished 126th through 200 on the PGA Tour money list will all be playing for those last 25 spots. The 25 players from that field of 150 who earn the most money in the last four events of the Web.com Tour, get those coveted 25 spots.

The Web.com Tour travels to North Carolina, then Ohio before finishing in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., with the Web.com Tour Championship.

Let’s hope Patel earns enough to make that top 25, but if he doesn’t he has secured a spot on the Web.com Tour for next year. Go Bhavik!

Chip Shots

The Wounded Heroes Golf Tournament will be September 14 with a noon shotgun start at the Bakersfield CC. Entry is $200 per player ($175 with Military ID) and includes fees, cart, range balls, lunch, dinner, awards and prizes. Proceeds benefit the Wounded Heroes Foundation of Kern County. Call the BCC pro shop at 871-4121 to sign-up or to get more info.

The PGA Tour is in the second round of its playoffs and this week they are playing the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston, Mass. The players that finished in the top 100 on the money list after The Barclays last week, have moved on to compete this week. The top 60 after this week advance to the third round Sept.12-15 in the BMW Championship.

SCGA 4-Ball Net Qualifying begins next week and we have teams competing at Goose Creek GC on September 4 in Mira Loma and Soule Park GC in Ojai on September 11. The finals will be at the Sycuan Resort in El Cajon Sept 30 and Oct.1.

Updated information (stats, etc.) on local players that are now competing in professional and college golf is always encouraged by Tee to Green as are golf related stories and information you believe that the readers would want to know about. Send the info to the email address listed below and don’t forget about those holes-in-one! And thanks in advance!

Tee to Green appears weekly at Bakersfield.com/sports. You can reach Gautney at gautney@att.net

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